Pioneering in beautiful Doubtless Bay in the Far North, New Zealand


New Zealand

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  • Description


    in 2015 we moved to beautiful Doubtless Bay in the Far North where we are transforming 2.5 acres of bare land (partly pasture, partly regenerated Manuka bush ) into Findhorn inspired gardens and orchards. We are on a hillside surrounded by pastures and forests and enjoy the great skies. Especially at night time the clear view of the Milky Way (hardly any light pollution here) is overwhelming. There is abundant bird life, and with our growing food production more birds find their way to our valley and garden. Jo (60) has been a gardener and food grower for many years. He has knowledge of plants, permaculture and sustainable living; he is very good at digging holes and creating fertile soil. Shelene (59) is a skilled knife-weeder, good at chopping out gorse bushes and in constant battle with a native Far North parasite weed (cassytha-paniculata/mawhai or Devil's twine). In the last 2 years we have established a mixed fruit orchard, vege gardens and a sub-tropical meander, in accord to this beautiful landscape. We have several chickens (fresh eggs every day) and 3 dogs who are our doorbells and who keep the grounds free of possums, rabbits and rats. There are ongoing building projects. Like true pioneers we are changing this bare land into a self sustainable home. We happily live a very basic lifestyle. During summertime we run also an organic fruit & vege stall at the beach.
    Originally from England/Jo and the Netherlands/Shelene, we have been living for many years in New Zealand. We love the climate, beautiful landscape and the outdoor lifestyle of the Far North. In the past we have traveled much in Europe and Asia of which many cultural aspects are interwoven into our life.
    We like to share our knowledge and experiences about growing our own organic food, herbs, trees and flowers and all about sustainable living. And we like to hear a good story and are interested in your ideas and experiences of sustainable projects.
    We are seeking skilled handy people (30+) who really know how to hold a hammer and a spade to dig, chop, weed, carry, mix, plant, nail.boltscrewsawhammer. For those wishing to experience how it is to start with a completely blank canvas, creating gardens from scratch, collecting, containing and reticulation of water, making the most of local resources like seaweed, fish guts and roadkill and learning to be creative with limited resources are welcome to contact us.
    Our place is not suitable for corporates, whimps, comfort bunnies or wannabees. Sustainable living has not so much to do with romantic sitting around a campfire singing cumbaya but it is all about taking responsibility for the results of your actions and taking care of your own shit - literally - with our composting toilet annex worm farm. Be prepared to get your hands dirty.

  • Type of help

    Type of help

    Cooking / shopping
    General Maintenance
    Animal care

  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    We have many years of experience with perma culture gardening and sustainable living. There is always much to learn from an exchange of knowledge about all aspects of sustainable living.

  • Help


    We have several ongoing building projects. Weeding, soil creation, planting seedlings, landscaping and garden maintenance are daily jobs.

  • Languages spoken

    Languages spoken

    English, Dutch, some French, little Spanish

  • Accommodation


    As accommodation there is a small sleep-out in the garden with outdoor shower and kitchen. Our lifestyle is basic. It's a great place to enjoy the country life and the outdoors. In exchange for 4 hours work per day we share one delicious garden meal and provide food for the other meals of the day. We have broadband access.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    Doubtless Bay is at a 6 hours drive from Auckland and a 50 minutes drive from Kerikeri/ 30 minutes from Kaitaia. We live close to Cable Bay. There are some fabulous walks nearby and some awesome beaches at walking distance with magnificent look-outs and the historical township of beautiful MangonuI with its stunning harbour and museums. However, it is advised to have your own transport because there is hardly any public transport in this part of New Zealand. There are many amazing beaches and walks but you'll need a car to get to most of them because they too far away to get by foot. There are no theaters or cinemas around here. It is the great outdoors, the stunning nature and the pleasant climate that makes a stay here to an unforgettable experience

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?


  • ...

    Hours expected

    4 hours: more is welcome too

Host ref number: 971745433845